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Is there a Special Occasion in Your Future? These Dental Treatments Can Get You Ready!

Dental Services Windham NHSpringtime marks the advent of Wedding Season. Early in the summer months, there may also be graduation ceremonies and parties to celebrate the graduates. Even if your summer includes a nice, relaxing vacation or weekly backyard barbeques, you want to feel good about your appearance as you make these public appearances. Here, we want to suggest a few quick and simple dental treatments that can have you ready for any special occasion at a moment’s notice.

Radiate from the Inside Out

Your smile radiates your inner vibrancy and personality – except when your teeth are dull and stained. When a special occasion is on the horizon, one of the things that people want most is to have a smile that shines. Teeth whitening can make sure this happens, and the beauty of teeth whitening is that it doesn’t matter which technique you choose. Our patients have options for in-office treatment, home treatment with custom-fit trays, and also combination treatment that begins with an in-office treatment and moves on to a few weeks of home whitening to lift deep stains. Professional teeth whitening can revive your smile within as little as two hours, or up to a few weeks. Plan now, and you can have the radiant smile you want well before summer.

Put Your Best Smile Forward

Problems like chips, cracks, and gaps can be very mild, or they can be severe. The degree of severity of such issues dictates how the smile can be renewed. Preference for natural appeal and longevity also need to be considered. An example of minor dental treatment for a small chip in a front tooth is dental bonding. The benefit of bonding is that this technique takes very little time to produce the desired result. During an office visit, minor etching is performed, and a tooth-colored resin material is applied to the tooth. Light hardens the material, and the tooth is beautifully made over.

More extensive cosmetic damage and discoloration may be treated with porcelain veneers. Like bonding, veneers disguise the underlying damage. This cosmetic technique provides years of beauty in just two visits to the dental office, making porcelain veneers an excellent treatment option even when a special occasion is short.

The teams in our Windham, NH, and Methuen, MA offices provide friendly care that achieves optimal results. Schedule a visit with us now to show up in your best smile all summer long.

Is Tea the Coffee-Alternative for Better Health?

Family Dentistry Methuen MAFor the millions of coffee-lovers that are out there, we salute you. Anyone who has ever established a healthy coffee-drinking habit can attest to the dissatisfaction that coincides with trying to cut back. In recent years, we have heard a lot about the benefits of green tea, and yet the coffee drinker needs a better alternative if they’re serious about making a switch to a beverage with lower acidity and greater health benefits. Here, we want to point out what recent research is saying about high-quality teas, and how the coffee-lover might make some beneficial changes.

What High-Quality Tea can do for Your Oral Health

The magic ingredient in a high-quality tea like most green teas is catechin content. The catechins in tea have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that are beneficial to gum health. Black teas have been noted to prevent the buildup of plaque on teeth, and white tea varieties have been praised for being less likely to stain teeth. There are numerous varieties of teas, and that’s not even counting the many herbal teas that are popular today. Most of them, when compared to coffee, are less acidic. Because the mouth is already naturally acidic, routine consumption of beverages that are also acidic can spell trouble.

Tea Offers Multiple Benefits

Tea is a popular beverage because it can provide benefits like soothing a sore throat and soothing an upset tummy. A nice, steamy cup of tea with lemon and honey can also soothe the nerves after a long day. According to research, teas are also protective of the liver and brain because they fight oxidation. Studies also suggest that choosing tea over other beverages provides advantageous effects against high blood pressure, heart disease, dementia, and even cancer.

Cutting down or cutting out a coffee can take time and patience. Many who have made the transition report that they began to notice they felt calmer within just a few days of putting their coffee on the shelf. For the die-hard coffee lover who is hesitant to give up the flavor they have come to love, Teecino or dandelion tea may be an ideal alternative. For many people, though, a switch to a rich, spicy, or even fruity herbal tea is much easier than they imagined.

Must you give up coffee to have a healthy mouth? No. We’re here to help you preserve your teeth and gums with personal dental care centered around your needs. For scheduling assistance, call our Windham or Methuen office today.

What your Bleeding Gums May be Telling You

Family Dentistry Methuen MA When you spend time taking care of your teeth, the last thing you want to see is bleeding gums. We have been told countless times that bleeding gums mean gum disease. The very idea of this leads many patients to ignore bleeding or to explain it away as having something stuck in their teeth or having mild irritation. The truth is, there are instances of bleeding gums that do not indicate you are in the throws of periodontal disease. Our objective in evaluating this problem is to understand why your gums may be bleeding so we can better manage your overall oral health.

Bleeding Gums Explained

Let’s go for the obvious first because it is the most common reason for bleeding gums: gingivitis. It is important that we differentiate between gingivitis and gum disease. The term gingivitis describes a condition of inflammation. The outermost layer of gum tissue is the gingiva. It is delicate and can become inflamed when the acidity of the mouth increases. Bleeding is the primary sign that your gums may be inflamed and an indication that you may need to floss more, brush your teeth better, use an antibacterial rinse, or see your dentist. You may need to do all of these things. A thorough dental exam at the first sign of bleeding is advantageous because it can prevent infection.

Plaque and tartar and acid are not the only reasons that gums may bleed. In fact, one study interestingly concluded that individuals who are deficient in vitamin C and/or vitamin K might be more prone to bleeding gums than those with healthy nutritional levels. If you’re taking good care of your teeth (that means brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist) and your gums bleed frequently, you might test this theory that vitamin C and K need a boost. This boost can come from a good multivitamin or from eating fresh citrus fruit and leafy greens several times a week. Just remember, a thorough dental exam and cleaning can go a long way in minimizing bleeding.

Finally, pregnant women and individuals who frequently take aspirin or other medication that thins the blood may also experience more frequent bleeding.

We care about your oral health. Contact our Methuen or Windham office for help with bleeding gums.

Gum Disease Risks to Discuss with your Dentist

Family Dentistry Methuen MADental care has expanded over time to observe and preserve more than our teeth. As we have learned over time, the gum tissue around teeth is vital to long-term oral health. The soft tissue around teeth is involved in our ability to chew and speak and, just like our teeth, this tissue can sustain damage. Fortunately, we have a good understanding of what may cause gum disease and also how to treat this multi-phase condition if it does rear its ugly head.

Gum disease presents in stages. We don’t jump from not having gum disease to having the most severe form. Initially, what occurs is inflammation in the superficial gingiva around teeth. We call this gingivitis, and we hope to treat this early infection right away. If gingivitis is not properly treated, the infection spreads to the periodontal tissue beneath the surface. We call this periodontitis, and we become more concerned about lasting damage when this condition arises. The final and most serious stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis, in which gum recession is noticeable, and teeth may feel loose.

Every stage of gum disease can be treated. However, once infection has reached periodontal tissue, we hope to manage oral health and prevent progression. There is no going back to not having gum disease at this point. For this reason, we strongly encourage patients to understand risk and to discuss questions and concerns with us during routine visits.

Risk factors worth discussion include:

  • General health. Gum disease is more prevalent among individuals with certain health conditions. This is because diseases like diabetes and others that affect immunity make it harder for the body to fight off infection anywhere, including the mouth.
  • Oral health is dependent on how we take care of our smile. The daily habits that are practiced can mitigate uncontrollable risk factors by inhibiting bacterial buildup known as plaque. Brushing and flossing are daily actions that shouldn’t be skipped. Experts also encourage us to avoid tobacco and chewing on hard objects.
  • We can’t go through life and not face stress from time to time. However, stress can have a negative impact on health and wellness if we don’t learn to manage it. Not only do stress chemicals diminish our immunity, but the presence of stress can also stand between us and our oral care habits.

Your Methuen and Windham dentist has ways to help you reduce your chances of developing gum disease. Contact an office near you for assistance.

How to Enjoy a Healthy Smile through Your Senior Years

Family Dentistry Methuen MA Aging is a natural process that has historically translated to degeneration or degradation. Through the ages, humans have simultaneously sought ways to minimize the impact of aging and also accepted the fact that some things naturally change with age. Just a century ago, one of those changes was that teeth would fail and the smile would become more and more spacious. Today, we realize that we don’t have to accept tooth loss or even poor oral health as a consequence of age. There are strategies that can be instilled at any time to preserve teeth and gums.

Why does this matter?

Seniors, in particular, are encouraged to pay close attention to their oral health and their daily oral care habits. In one study, researchers suggested that plaque and tartar become increasingly problematic after age 50. This isn’t even in the “senior” age category! Imagine what another 15 to 20 years can do!

Dental care is vital for all of us, and it needs to follow suit with our unique needs. Here’s why:

  • Disease in the mouth is linked to disease elsewhere, including the heart and lungs. Research data on oral bacteria and bacteria in the arteries of the heart is so strong that experts now view gum disease as a biomarker for cardiac disease and events like heart attack.
  • In the lungs, bacteria may settle long enough to cause infection and increase a person’s risk of pneumonia.
  • Adults with diabetes face a unique situation in which gum health becomes more difficult to manage due to unregulated blood sugar. At the same time, blood sugar is more unpredictable when gum disease exists.

Specific Strategies for Seniors

At every age, there are certain obstacles that need to be recognized. The roadblocks that affect seniors can be overcome with specific habits:

  • Brush! Seniors should brush their teeth every morning and every night. After nighttime brushing, it is necessary to floss. This can be made easier with a flossing tool or water irrigator.
  • Turn to modern devices. Toothbrushing can become a much easier and efficient practice when an electric or sonic toothbrush is used. These instruments move independently so do not require much effort from the user.
  • Take good care of dentures. It can be easy to forget that dentures need a good level of care, too. Yes, acrylic will not corrode. However, bacteria can accumulate on the denture, and that means a risk for gum disease and bad breath. Dentures should be cleaned daily and with appropriate technique. For instance, brushing dentures with abrasive toothpaste can cause scratches that you can’t see, but that can hold bacteria.

The team at Kalil Dental Associates wants to get to know your smile so we can help you protect it. Call our Windham or Methuen office for assistance.

Adults Benefit from Invisalign

Invisalign Methuen, MAIt used to be that braces were something for the young. There was a window of time during which it felt “acceptable” to be seen with a metallic smile. Boy, isn’t it nice that those days are gone? In our Methuen and Windham offices, we routinely meet with adults who express an interest in straightening their teeth, all thanks to Invisalign.

The discreet aligner method of straightening crooked teeth has been winning fans year after year, giving adults who missed their opportunity for a straight smile a second chance. This opportunity presents a number of benefits.

Virtually Invisible “Braces”

Invisalign is not the same thing as braces. There are no brackets adhered to your teeth and no wire running through them. This is exactly why most people love the aligner method. Adults, especially, want to maintain their natural, unobstructed smile aesthetic, even as they go through treatment to make things better. Having invisible aligners means having the freedom to make important presentations at work without inhibited confidence. It means being able to engage socially without feeling “like a kid.”

Correct Adult-Onset Misalignment

There are a few reasons why adults may want to correct misalignment. One is that they never did. Maybe they never really needed to, but teeth have shifted somewhat since their youth. Dental injuries, tooth grinding, even gum disease are all factors that could lead to shifting. These same factors could result in what is referred to as orthodontic relapse, a condition in which teeth were straightened with braces but have since moved out of alignment.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, every person who seeks Invisalign treatment is seeking one thing: they want to feel better about their smile. Yes, straightening teeth that are crowded or overlapping or too far apart also improves oral health. Really, though, it is the matter of appearance that provides immediate satisfaction.  When our smile looks good, we feel good. It’s that simple.

Would you like to feel better about your smile? Contact us to find out if Invisalign is a treatment that can help you address your concerns. We look forward to speaking with you.

When Tooth Pain May be an Urgent Problem

Family Dentistry Methuen MAOften, tooth pain is something that we kind of try to ignore. Not many people want to admit that they do this, but it’s a rather instinctive reaction. We might try to explain away the mild pain as temporary sensitivity. Sometimes, though, pain is sudden and severe, and this is a problem that refuses to be ignored.

Any time that pain occurs in the mouth and lasts for more than a day, a dental visit should be scheduled. Wouldn’t you love to hear that the mild sensitivity you’ve been having when you eat is just a tiny cavity and repair is simple? We like when things go this way, too. Instances of unique tooth pain may need even more prompt attention. Let’s look at a few . . .

Sudden, Severe Pain

If you felt fine this morning and have a severe toothache tonight, there is a problem. Tooth pain that is keeping your attention needs to be addressed. At home, you may carefully brush and floss and rinse the mouth with warm salt water to see if that helps. These are temporary measures, though. This type of pain could be telling you that bacteria have reached deep into your tooth and are capable of causing a nasty infection.

Throbbing Pain

Infection could also cause a tooth to feel like its throbbing. This kind of pain could develop gradually or suddenly and may indicate a tooth abscess. An abscess is an infection that has localized within a small pocket that has formed within the tooth or along its root system. Wherever an abscess exists, it needs to be treated right away. If this infection is not properly treated, the pocket could rupture and introduce infected debris to surrounding tissue. A ruptured abscess is a serious problem. Do not wait to obtain dental care.

Pain When You Eat or Drink

There are a few types of tooth pain that could occur when you eat or drink. One is sharp sensitivity to hot or cold. The other is pain under the pressure of chewing. Sensitivity could signal that a cavity has developed. It may also be related to receding gums. In either situation, dental care should be obtained within a few days to repair damage and prevent further injury. When chewing causes pain in a tooth, there may be a fracture that needs to be repaired. This is also a matter of importance because a small fracture could lead to a larger break. Fractures that are tiny also allow bacteria to the inner realm of the tooth, inviting infection.

Schedule a visit to our Windham or Methuen office to restore comfort and protect your oral health.

How Might Smoking Affect Dental Implant Success?

Dental Implant  Windham NHOne of the questions that we ask ourselves when developing a course of treatment for any given situation is “how can we maximize patient outcome?” You see, patient outcome – achieving a result that will provide long-term benefit to the patient – is a measure of successful dental treatment. It is a measure of value for the patient. When we set out to prevent or repair a problem, this is at the forefront of our mind. It is for this reason that we must discuss the impact that smoking can have on the final outcome of dental implant treatment.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implant treatment is the new age of tooth replacement. We learned long ago that teeth, even replacement teeth, need roots in order to function properly. It has only been in the last few decades that the method to facilitate this was perfected. Now, dental implants are more routine than an upgraded form of dentistry.

Dental implants are small titanium cylinders that are used to replicate the structure of natural teeth roots. When these cylinders are implanted into the jaw, they set off the process of osseointegration; bone tissue literally grows around them. What this does is lay a new foundation on which artificial teeth can be secured.

Dental Implants and the Smoker

Because it is difficult to predict the possibility for long-term success when implant treatment is performed on a smoker, some dentists refuse to follow this protocol unless a patient stops smoking. Here’s why . . .

  • Bone growth may not occur as well in a smoker due to the lack of proper circulation. This could inhibit the integration of implants, even when bone grafting is conducted prior to implant surgery.
  • Oral tissues are directly damaged by the heat of smoke inhaled, inhibiting the regeneration of new cells needed to support dental implants.
  • Both healing and immunity are degraded by the toxic ingredients in cigarettes and the effects of these chemicals on peripheral blood vessels.
  • Salivary glands sustain damage from the inhalation of cigarette smoke (as well as other sources of smoke). This downgrades production, which leads to dry mouth, which increases the risk of gum disease. Where there is gum disease, there is a threat to the stability of dental implants.

Dental implant treatment has been around long enough for studies to take place. Studies on the effects of smoking suggest that smokers have twice the risk of non-smokers for implant failure.

Dentures and dental bridges are tooth replacement treatments that provide meaningful improvement after tooth loss. However, dental implants are considered the best option in most cases. To learn more about options for tooth replacement, contact our Methuen or Windham office.

How Might Smoking Affect Dental Implant Success?

One of the questions that we ask ourselves when developing a course of treatment for any given situation is “how can we maximize patient outcome?” You see, patient outcome – achieving a result that will provide long-term benefit to the patient – is a measure of successful dental treatment. It is a measure of value for the patient. When we set out to prevent or repair a problem, this is at the forefront of our mind. It is for this reason that we must discuss the impact that smoking can have on the final outcome of dental implant treatment.

What are Dental Implants?

It has only been in the last few decades that the method to facilitate this was perfected. Now, dental implants are more routine than an upgraded form of dentistry.

Dental implants are small titanium cylinders that are used to replicate the structure of natural teeth roots. When these cylinders are implanted into the jaw, they set off the process of osseointegration; bone tissue literally grows around them. What this does is lay a new foundation on which artificial teeth can be secured.

Dental Implants and the Smoker

Because it is difficult to predict the possibility for long-term success when implant treatment is performed on a smoker, some dentists refuse to follow this protocol unless a patient stops smoking. Here’s why . . .

  • Bone growth may not occur as well in a smoker due to the lack of proper circulation. This could inhibit the integration of implants, even when bone grafting is conducted prior to implant surgery.
  • Oral tissues are directly damaged by the heat of smoke inhaled, inhibiting the regeneration of new cells needed to support dental implants.
  • Both healing and immunity are degraded by the toxic ingredients in cigarettes and the effects of these chemicals on peripheral blood vessels.
  • Salivary glands sustain damage from the inhalation of cigarette smoke (as well as other sources of smoke). This downgrades production, which leads to dry mouth, which increases the risk of gum disease. Where there is gum disease, there is a threat to the stability of dental implants.

Dental implant treatment has been around long enough for studies to take place. Studies on the effects of smoking suggest that smokers have twice the risk of non-smokers for implant failure.

Dentures and dental bridges are tooth replacement treatments that provide meaningful improvement after tooth loss. However, dental implants are considered the best option in most cases. To learn more about options for tooth replacement, contact our Methuen or Windham office.

Let’s Get into Some of the Details of Invisalign

Invisalign Braces Windham NHNow that Invisalign has been in use for several years, we have had the opportunity to see what this braces-free teeth-straightening system can do. Furthermore, the makers of the Invisalign system have had the opportunity to expand the capabilities of the clear plastic aligners. Because Invisalign has proven itself a contender in the teeth-straightening department, interest in this treatment continues to increase, and that can mean confusion.

Interestingly enough, the more popular a treatment gets, the more misinformation may spread. Let’s get down to the important details that you need to know if you’re considering Invisalign:

  • You’ve got to wear your aligners. When a person gets braces, there is no question that their treatment will achieve its goal. This isn’t cut-and-dry with Invisalign. If aligners are not in place the majority of the time, it will take longer to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Oral hygiene is even more important when you wear Invisalign. The way that clear plastic aligners can straighten teeth is by full coverage. Where there is full coverage, there is less oxygenation, and there is less saliva to dilute acidity and sugar residue. Therefore, there is an increased risk of decay and infection. Be prepared to rinse your mouth after every meal and snack – at least. Ideally, tooth-brushing will occur three times a day.
  • Remember that comfort is subjective. Some people will say that Invisalign doesn’t hurt one bit. Other people will say that a new set of aligners creates a mild ache or uncomfortable sensation. The fact is, it is necessary for the periodontal ligament to stretch if we want teeth to move, and this could be slightly uncomfortable for short periods of time.
  • Toothpaste is not good for aligners. Most toothpaste products are made with mildly abrasive particles. This is good for enamel because it polishes it. It is bad for plastic aligners because it could scratch the surface, allowing bacteria to accumulate.
  • Aligners are nearly invisible until they’re not. Once you become accustomed to wearing your aligners, there may be a natural temptation to leave them in a while enjoying a warm or cool beverage other than water. This is a no-no. Not only could that let debris stick to teeth and gums, but it could also stain the clear plastic.

We enjoy seeing our patients get smiles they love. Learn more about Invisalign by getting in touch with our Windham or Methuen office.